Immigration, asylum and anti-deportation

Condemn Starmer u-turn on free movement

The Labour Campaign for Free Movement is seeking signatures and Constituency Labour Party and union motions calling on the Labour leadership to support democracy, migrant rights and the 2019 Labour Party conference decision on free movement: see here (up with other motions here). This is a response to Keir Starmer saying on 10 January, when asked if Labour would stick to its free movement policy: “I don’t think there’s an argument for reopening those aspects of the treaty”. A year ago, asked when running for Labour leader whether he would bring back free movement for EU citizens, Starmer said...

Racism behind the deportations

On Wednesday 2 December, a charter flight intended to deport 50 Jamaican nationals from the UK back to Jamaica went ahead, though with thirteen rather than 50. There had been a campaign with many high-profile celebrities such as Naomi Campbell fronting it. Home Secretary Priti Patel was heavily critically of the Labour MPs and celebrities such as Thandie Newton who protested, referring to them as “do-gooders”. She claimed people seeking to halt the deportation risked the safety of British people by allowing criminals to reside on British soil. To what extent are “British” people in danger from...

Neurodivergent Labour builds on successful first year

Neurodivergent Labour marked the end of its first year with a constructive and democratic online AGM on 28 November. Reviewing the past year, Chair Janine Booth described ND Labour’s response to political developments during the year, including taking on anti-vaccination propaganda and supporting trade union disputes while helping them to become more accessible. Campaigns Officer Andy Forse reported on ND Labour’s involvement in the ongoing campaign to stop the deportation of 22-year-old autistic man Osime Brown to Jamaica. Trade union organising received a boost with the passing of a...

Stop the plane!

Over 60 MPs, mostly Labour — but not Labour leader Keir Starmer — have signed a letter against a flight to deport dozens of people to Jamaica on 2 December. Some airlines have refused to operate the flight. The Tories’ pitch is that the people deported have serious criminal records. But they should have the same right to live free as anyone else who has served their sentence.

Chasing the conservatives

Friday 27 November saw an online launch of Paul Embery’s book, Despised: Why the Modern Left Loathes the Working Class, sponsored by The Full Brexit, a group which promotes the fantasy that Brexit is an “historic opportunity… for restoring popular sovereignty.” Embery is a well known proponent of “Blue Labour,” the idea that a moderately social-democratic project in the Labour Party can be reinvigorated only if it also promotes conservative social values, not just Brexit but supporting immigration control, opposing Black Lives Matter, lauding Britain as a Christian country, and supporting...

Make the NHS open to all!

Research from the group Doctors of the World UK illustrates how anti-migrant policies implanted in the NHS over years were causing serious suffering, even before the pandemic hit. Their report found migrants waiting much longer to access the health service than non-migrants, with an average wait of 37 weeks. For those requiring “urgent” or “immediately necessary” treatment, the average was 36 weeks. Delays of years were not uncommon, with one respondent with a serious heart complaint waiting four years. The report highlights extensive wrangling over whether people can access treatment and...

Asylum: Patel's "Australian model"

Home Secretary Priti Patel has been asking officials to scope out the possibilities of detaining asylum seekers on remote Atlantic islands or in disused ferries, and building physical barriers in the Channel. In Australia, where she borrows the “remote-islands” idea from, deterring asylum seekers and enforcing border controls have been election-winning positions for the conservatives. In the first decade of the 21st century immigration detention in harsh remote locations within Australian territory through the first decade of this century produced points at which refugee supporters could meet...

A win for Osime Brown

On 7 October, Osime Brown, a young man jailed under “joint enterprise” law, will return to his family home on his release from prison, rather than being taken to an immigration detention centre. This win follows many street and online protests demanding his freedom. But Osime’s fight is still on: the order to deport him to Jamaica (which he left at the age of 4, and where has no support network) still stands. No date has been announced, but Osime still has this threat looming. Campaigners are running a “Twitter storm” on 6 October, and ask supporters to keep signing and sharing the petition...

Free Osime Brown!

Joe Booth was speaking at the “Free Osime Brown” protest on 25 September. More about the Osime Brown campaign here. Hey everyone. My name’s Joe. Joe Booth. I’m 18. And I’m autistic. And I’m socialist, or activist, or whatever you wanna call me. And first of all, I just wanna say: whatever I say now is not said as a soundbite, or for my own popularity, but because I literally mean it… and I want Osime Brown released! So, why am I here? Because I’m absolutely furious and appalled, so much that it’s actually a miracle I ain’t swearing. Because Osime Brown is being convicted for a crime that not...

Free Osime Brown: stop his deportation, cancel his conviction!

Without urgent action, Osime Brown, an innocent 21 year old black learning-disabled man will be moved to a detention centre on the 7th October, awaiting deportation to Jamaica. This is a country he left aged 4 where he has no friends, family or support in. Osime's situation is a grim example of the racist and ableist nature of the British immigration and policing systems. We must urgently stop Osime's deportation, cancel his conviction, and fight to overthrow the brutality that puts anyone in this situation. You can read more about the case here. The campaign are asking all of its supporters...

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